Since 22 October Ireland is back in lockdown, for six month! The impact for our church isn’t too big as church services in Dublin are not allowed since mid of September. Movement is allowed for 5 kilometers, schools remain open and “essential” travel is allowed.
Well, we enjoy the beauty of the neighborhood: This is St. Stephen’s Green
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There is a longing of being together like in the “old days” because there was nearly no church service without a tea and coffee and a chat afterwards, or in some cases even a shared dinner! Community with god and community among us, this belongs together. Now we have only the internet.
But look, the good thing is we are now connected through huge distances: People from all over Ireland and even from foreign countries are celebrating with us the Sunday service and attend zoom meetings. During the short period in August when the church was open, we made first interesting experiences with hybrid services.
My impression is for young people it is a really tough time: Children would like to play together and the youth asked me several times about a weekend and or so, but all this is not feasible at the moment.
So we have to walk our way through this time – and St. Finian’s Church is there, a sign of hope, waiting for us and promising a new time of getting together.
Well, some good news: No huge difficulties occurred (no rotten timber), so the raised money was enough for an insulation of this part of the roof as well. Second good news: The first Euros are donated to move on with the eastern part of the roof. THANK YOU VERY MUCH to all who gave a smaller or bigger amount of money, including the EKD and Dublin City Council. And a big THANK YOU to 7L-Architects and Barbary Roofing Company for high quality work.
And look at that: details how the slates meet the gable.
So many months without a real Holy Communion! On Sunday, 13th September we tried it the first time. It is interesting how the health regulations change the setting: We ended up with a real table which was nice and touching. Next Sunday we expect more people as it is the Sunday with the introduction of the newly elected Church Council.
Most likely during the pandemie Holy Communion will take place once a month. But in these days you never know!
Since last week School is on again. In St.Kilian’s German School, where I’m teaching Religion, all teachers have to wear face masks, the students not. Arrows on the floor indicate a one-way-system, everywhere you see desinfection dispensers. The class rooms are tidied up, and somebody built nice screens for the teacher’s desk so you are allowed to remove the mask while sitting at the desk (I figured out the students won’t understand you better because the screen keeps your voice, but anyway…).
St. Kilian’s has done a great job enabling a nearly normal school world. Some teachers seem to be stressed because of the circumstances, but all of us have to learn a lot in these days. I have to learn to use the interactive screen in the classroom with my phone!
But the best experience today was the question of a girl: Do we get another nice story today? You bring us so interesting stories! (Well, I teach them stories from the Bible, because even the non-religious students should know them, stories like the Good Samaritan. Religion is taught for the whole class in a very open way).
I’ve never thought before doing services with a live stream. But due to the fact many people are afraid to come (avoiding public transport) or are in quarantine, we tried this out: 1st September, Ecumenical Lunchtime Prayer: A dozen people inside the church, joined by nine online on Zoom. It was a very special service.
Last Sunday, AGM of the church: We tried it again. The setting: An iPad on a tripod, connected to mobile internet as we don’t have WiFi in the Church. In the picture you see the screen turned to the audience, but during the service is was turned to the speaker. Probably we’ll do things like that again: Using technology for the Gospel is a Reformation thing – Luther used the newly invented printing press…
Seit einigen Wochen ist wieder Leben im Lutherhaus, oder besser gesagt, auf der Wiese im Garten hinter der Kirche. Auf dem Foto sieht man Mitglieder des Goethechores – alle vierzehn Tage Singen auf der Wiese, mehr geht im Moment nicht, ist aber schon schön.
Auch die Kindergruppen kommen wieder, und der Deutsche Kaffeemorgen hatte am 31. August sein erstes, kleines meeting “in echt” – natürlich auch draußen, denn drinnen dürfen sich nach derzeitigen Regelungen nur sechs Menschen treffen. Draußen immerhin 15…
Früher war ich mal Pfarrer in Beerfelden im Odenwald. Auch als Dekan war das der Fall, mit immerhin noch 25% Dienstanteil. Die Kirchengemeinde Beerfelden macht derzeit ziemlich gute online-Gottesdienste. Wie es dann so kommt: Pfarrer Roland Bahre, der das online-Programm verantwortet, hat mich gefragt, ob ich eine Predigt aus Dublin beisteuern könnte. Das habe ich gerne gemacht. Hier ist das Ergebnis: